So meantime, we’ve moved into a rental at the beach. We’re making a sea change. And yes, that makes us sound approximately sixty-five years old. It’s only half an hour’s drive from the city where we used to live, in this sleepy little seaside village known as Zilzie. I love it – walking to the beach with the kids, the sea breezes, the beautiful ocean views. I also wonder whether the smallness of this place is going to drive us crazy. Time will tell.
The really hilarious thing is that the house we’re living in now belongs to my husband’s company. Up until we moved in, it was being used as a holiday rental. And one of my jobs this past year was to fully furnish and decorate it. I did this as a commercial job, for the purpose of being used by holiday renters, never knowing that in less than six months’ time we would actually have cause to move in there ourselves.
Lucky I always choose stuff I actually really like myself, right?
It’s worked out beautifully, because our River House is now being used as a display home with all our furniture still in it. So it was awesome to have a fully furnished house to move into. You know, because we enjoy not sleeping on the floor and all. It’s actually been one of the smoothest moves we’ve ever done. The house was completely set up with everything we need to survive including linen, crockery and essential kitchen appliances. So it wasn’t one of those stressful moves where you have to get beds assembled and made up and stock the new loos with toilet paper and feed and bathe the children when you can’t find the can opener or which box you put the towels in, all in one desperate rush before nightfall. It’s actually been quite relaxing, as far as moves go – we’ve been able to move our stuff across and unpack it in dribs and drabs. I still don’t feel completely settled, but we’re getting there slowly.
The likelihood is that we’ll be here for about a year. By that time hopefully we’ll have found the right block of land
(in the same coastal area) and finished building our own house. We could always buy something, but building is our “thing”. My husband’s good at it and knows all the right people, and I love being able to choose everything just the way we want. Well, as budget allows, of course.
But back to the house we’re in right now. When I was given the job of decorating this home, I knew right away that a relaxed coastal theme would be perfect for the location and lifestyle. The trick was to catch the beachy vibe, without being cheesy about it. Instead, my goal was to create a modern coastal feel that was both sophisticated and comfortable.
Here’s the mood board I came up with for the living area:
It’s helpful to start with a theme: I always have a “story” in mind, a feel I’m trying to create. The rest is a fairly intuitive process for me, but when I step back and analyse the decisions I make, there are specific design elements I always take into account. Perhaps it would be useful for some of you if I broke those down.
So, let’s talk through the elements I considered here.
The coffee table is a modern take on Scandinavian design, with the classic combination of white and beech. The round table top brings softness to the room – it’s more inviting than one with sharp corners. A circular shape also works better with two different-sized sofas, especially in a smaller space.
Repetition and unity
Let’s chat: Do you enjoy decorating, or do you find it overwhelming and difficult to know where to start? Do you consciously consider things like colour, shape and texture, or do you just go with your gut? Who here is a fan of coastal style?